Salman Rushdie has previously complained about having too much security around him, according to a media report on Saturday. While attending the Prague Writers' Festival, he told reporters, “To be here and to find a large security operation around me has actually felt a little embarrassing... I thought it was really unnecessary and kind of excessive and was certainly not arranged at my request." “I spent a great deal of time before I came here saying that I really didn’t want that. So I was very surprised to arrive here and discover a really quite substantial operation, because it felt like being in a time warp, that I had gone back in time several years,” he was quoted as saying.
Iranians reacted with praise and worry on Saturday over the attack on novelist Salman Rushdie, the target of a decades-old fatwa by the late Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini calling for his death.
It remains unclear why Rushdie's attacker, identified by police as Hadi Matar of Fairview, New Jersey, stabbed the author as he prepared to speak at an event Friday in western New York.
Iran's theocratic government and its state-run media have assigned no motive to the assault.
But in Tehran, some willing to speak to The Associated Press offered praise for an attack targeting a writer they believe tarnished the Islamic faith with his 1988 book “The Satanic Verses”.
In the streets of Iran's capital, images of the late Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini still peer down at passers-by.
“I don't know Salman Rushdie, but I am happy to hear that he was attacked since he insulted Islam," said Reza Amiri, a 27-year-old deliveryman. “This is the fate for anybody who insults sanctities.” Others, however, worried aloud that Iran could become even more cut off from the world as tensions remain high over its tattered nuclear deal.
The attempt on the life of renowned writer Salman Rushdie is "appalling" and "reprehensible", US National Security Advisor James Sullivan has said.
"Today, the country and the world witnessed a reprehensible attack against the writer Salman Rushdie. This act of violence is appalling," Sullivan, National Security Advisor to the US President, said hours after the writer was attacked on stage moments before he was to deliver a speech in New York.
"All of us in the Biden-Harris Administration are praying for his speedy recovery. We are thankful to good citizens and first responders for helping Mr. Rushdie so quickly after the attack and to law enforcement for its swift and effective work, which is ongoing," Sullivan said in a statement.
The 24-year-old man detained in connection with the stabbing of Mumbai-born controversial author Salman Rushdie was sympathetic to "Shia extremism" and the causes of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, according to a media report.
A preliminary review of Matar’s social media accounts by law enforcement showed him to be sympathetic to Shia extremism and the causes of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), a law enforcement person with direct knowledge of the investigation told NBC News.
Though there are no direct links between Matar and the IRGC, law enforcement officers reportedly found images of slain commander Qassem Solemani and an Iraqi extremist sympathetic to the Iranian regime in a cell phone messaging app belonging to Matar, according to NBC News.
Soleimani was a senior Iranian military officer who served in the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. From 1998 until his assassination in 2020.
Rushdie’s book The Satanic Verses has been banned in Iran since 1988, as many Muslims consider it offensive to Islam.
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